Pakistani security agencies arrest top Al Qaeda operative

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Lahore, Jul 16 (UNI) Pakistani security agencies have arrested a top Al Qaeda operative along with his two accomplices in Punjab's southern city of Multan.

The personnel of the security agencies arrested the three suspected terrorists from a shutdown 'Neel Wali Factory' located on Abdali Road on Monday night, Daily Times quoted as saying.

Officials have identified the suspects as Tanzanian National Muhammad Al Misri, Anwar Muawiya and Muhammad Shahid.

The arrest of Al Misri is the second biggest catch following the arrest of Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, former defence minister in the Taliban government, on March 2, 2007.

Officials said Al Misri is closely linked with Al Qaeda's top hierarchy. Al Misri is also suspected to be behind the series of suicide attacks in the country following the crackdown on the Lal Masjid in July last year.

According to preliminary investigations, Al Misri knows five languages including English, Persian, Arabic, Pushto and Urdu.

Anwar, a resident of Abbotabad, belongs to the banned anti-Shiite Lashkar e Jhangvi (LJ) while Shahid, another LJ activist, is a local of Multan. The three militants were hiding in the factory for the past one week.

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